London – North Korea’s biggest nuclear test to date was condemned around the world on Sunday, with several leaders calling for new sanctions and U.S. President Donald Trump saying “appeasement” would not work.
The explosion of what North Korea said was an advanced hydrogen bomb came just days after it fired a missile over Japan.
Trump, who said after last week’s missile launch that talking to Pyongyang “is not the answer”, tweeted that Sunday’s test showed North Korea’s “words and actions continue to be very hostile and dangerous to the United States.’’
Trump said North Korea had become “a great threat and embarrassment to China” and that Beijing had tried but failed to solve the problem, saying South Korea’s “talk of appeasement” would not work as “they (the North Koreans) only understand one thing!”
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, said he would put together new sanctions to potentially cut off all North Korea’s global trade.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron said they planned to tighten European Union sanctions.
“This latest provocation by the ruler in Pyongyang has reached a new dimension,” the German government said in a statement after Merkel and Macron discussed the issue on
Britain’s foreign minister Boris Johnson said: “They (North Korea) seem to be moving closer toward hydrogen bomb which, if fitted to a successful missile, would unquestionably present a new order of threat,” adding that there were no palatable military solutions.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said the UN Security Council should urgently look at new measures.
However, Russia struck a cautious tone, saying “in the emerging conditions, it is absolutely essential to keep cool, refrain from any actions that could lead to further escalation of tensions.’’
The Russian foreign ministry, however, said “North Korea risked serious consequences.’’
Later on Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin met Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in China where they agreed to “appropriately deal with the crisis, Chinese state news agency — Xinhua — said.
The agency also said that “the two leaders agreed to stick to the goal of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and keep close communication and coordination to deal with the new situation.’’
Earlier, China had urged North Korea to “stop wrong actions’’, and said it would fully enforce UN resolutions on the country.’’
Meanwhile, the International Atomic Energy Agency, which has no access to North Korea, called the nuclear test — Pyongyang’s sixth since 2006 — “an extremely regrettable act
in complete disregard of repeated demands of the international community.’’